Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Winona Ryder and Edward Scissorhands

Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle) dipped into the mail bag for this:

Dear Mick: Your recent review of "Homefront" reminded me of a friend's assertion that Winona Ryder was overrated as a young actress and now underrated in middle age. Offhand, can you think of any other actors whose careers followed this arc?
Rick Pyle, Pittsburg

Dear Rick: Many actresses follow that arc. Shelley Winters once said that it takes 20 years to really learn how to act, to get as good as you can get. But the problem that lots of actresses have faced over the years is that they become famous when very young, and then by the time they're hitting their artistic peak, their careers are on the decline. There are too many examples of this to name. Rita Hayworth is one. One or two actresses in the 1939 film "The Women" might also qualify. Also Brigitte Bardot.

Winona is one of my favorites and I'll be writing about her this week -- probably tomorrow.  She, James Franco and others are starring in a top ten film ("Homefront") but I'll be writing about a different movie.

And at Third, Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I. wrote "Film Classics of the 20th Century" Sunday and the film this time was "Edward Scissorhands."

Here's an excerpt:

The community always defined him as the monster and the outsider and now they don't bother to conceal that or their opinion that he doesn't belong.
Edward will escape to the castle he was created in.  Even there, he will not find peace.

The same community that pretends to be outraged by laws being broken, is more than happy to show up like mad villagers.  They use the 'laws being broken' as their excuse to justify openly expressing their hatred for Edward but they don't respect the laws that require them to stay off his castle grounds.

And Jim is the product of this community.  The hot head, yes, but the embraced hot head.  The one encouraged to act, the one raised to act.  And his action is to attempt to kill Edward.  When Kim tries to save Edward and Jim attacks Kim, Edward doesn't bother to hold back anymore, he kills Jim.

Unlike her parents, Kim knows Edward can't be altered and shouldn't.  She knows the town is waiting to rip him apart and that, if there was a way to talk it all out, the hatred and fear would still be under the surface and waiting to rise the next time Edward made an innocent mistake.  He can't change and he's too real to live in a fake community.

So Kim lies to the people that Edward is dead and they return to their homes.

And she grows into an old woman without ever being able to see Edward again.

Winona Ryder opens the film in heavy make up as an old woman telling the story of Edward Scissorhands to her granddaughter. She's then absent from the screen for approximately 30 minutes until she shows up as teenage Kim.

Tim Burton cast types in supporting roles.  He went with actors in the roles of Edward and Kim.

They're fleshed out in the script, they're fleshed out in the performances.

Edward is the horror show monster and to ensure that the audience grasp the monster is man-made, created by the community he's taken into, a strong and talented actress was needed.  Winona Ryder has to be able to create Kim, to make her fully dimensional and to be her in every moment on film -- even when she's not the main focus of the camera.

The others can be -- and often are -- a little wooden, a little fake, a little TV-ish.

That's because the characters are fakes, faking their way at 'acceptance' and 'tolerance.'

Johnny Depp is amazing in the film and it made him a movie star.

But that wouldn't have happened with anyone but Winona in the role.

Drew Barrymore wanted the role.  She could have played the part from the moment Kim learns Edward knew they were breaking into Jim's house.  She could have played that and played it very well.  But, in 1989 when Edward Scissorhands was filmed, when she was 14-years-old, she didn't yet have the range to play the Kim prior to that moment, to be unlikable and mean.
If Kim's not disgusted by Edward in the first half, her realization, her awakening carries no weight in the second half.

It's no longer about anything but another sweet girl falling in love with a misunderstood boy.

Winona makes Kim's growth about the facade.  It's not just Edward she awakens to, she awakens to the entire town.  She realizes what Jim is and breaks it off, yes.  But she also, in the tree decorating scene, gets across with her eyes and her body tension that Kim realizes her mother doesn't have a clue and she needs to humor the woman.  Bells?  Yes, that's what's needed to make life perfect, more bells on the tree.

This realization has to take place -- and the audience has to see it -- for it to be believable that Peg's daughter would tell Edward to run.

Is that not some amazing thoughts?  I really see the film differently now.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, December 23, 2013.  Chaos and violence continue, journalists continue to be targeted, targeted with violence and also targeted with sexism if they're women, Nouri al-Maliki prepares to attack Ramadi protesters, his girlfriend Hamo Tweets a lie involving a photo of the protesters (but it's not the protesters! and the photo's nearly a year old!), Joel Wing's got the blood lust again, and much more.

December 15th, journalist Nawras al-Nuaimi was assassinated.

This is all the attention AFP gave her when she was killed:

GUNMEN murdered a female TV presenter in northern Iraq on Sunday, her station and police said, making her the sixth journalist to be killed in the country since October. Nawras al-Nuaimi was shot near her home in Mosul, Al-Mosuliyah TV said, and was the fifth journalist killed in the northern city in the same period.

Her life was worth a grand total of 55 words to AFP when she died.

Today her life was worth over 3 times that amount to AFP (they offered 185 words).  Eight days after they report her death oh-so-briefly they're suddenly interested and more interested than the first time.

What happened?

AFP's Iraq reporting notoriously sexist.  It's been so bad that above the bureau chief's head at AFP, it's not even question of have-we-been-sexist because they accept that the reporting coming out of AFP has been sexist and that's one reason that changes are taking place regarding AFP's Iraq coverage.

In "Editorial: Iraqi women" yesterday at Third, we noted, "A 19-year-old journalist is killed.  And AFP breezes past it but tries to create a mythical savior out of a (male) police officer who hugs a suicide bomber?"

Remember that?

That magical body that was a bomb shield?  (No, it doesn't work like that, we covered that last week.)

They hailed the man as a hero.  AFP devoted 274 words to his death.

But Nawras was only worth 55.

Today she was worth 185.  Because her mother met with the killer and told the killer that he sent her daughter to "paradise."  She feels no anger or rage.  And the killer, the mother said, turned Nawras into "a bride to paradise."

And that's why AFP can embrace Nawras.

The dead police officer, they made him a hero, they told a Little Golden Book story of a man of action.  And Nawras?  Her life was action.  She was an Iraqi journalist in Iraq.  That's courageous.  She can go to jail, she can be killed and she has no foreign outlet behind her.

And Nawras being a strong woman didn't interest AFP one damn bit.  Their entire output of the last three years have demonstrated that strong women don't interest them.

But when her grieving mother made those idiotic statements (hopefully out of grief), it was a way for AFP to run over Nawras and her strength, it was a way to turn her passive.  And once they could portray her as the passive woman, they were suddenly nearly three times as interested in her death.

'We were just reporting!'

No, you weren't.  When you wrote about the hugging police officer, you found a lot of people to quote.  You didn't want people Nawras died and you didn't quote anyone.  A week later her mother makes some idiotic remarks and you quote that but you don't quote her co-workers.  The day Nawras died,  Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) reported:

Nuaimi has been working as a presenter of TV programs in the local Mosuliyah channel for five years, he said, adding that she was the fourth journalist killed in Mosul since October and the 51st in Nineveh province since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Nawras al-Nuaimi, 19, had worked for five years at the station.  Since she was 14.

But AFP didn't find that impressive and wasn't interested in that or anything except now she was passive and a 'bride' in death.

What AFP refused to do, Yasir Ghazi (New York Times) does today:

On Dec. 15, her last day alive, Nawras al-Nuaimi left her university and headed home for a nap before going to work at a local television station. She had just become engaged, to a doctor, and friends said she was realizing her dream of becoming a television news presenter. On her way home, she was ambushed by several gunmen, who shot her in the head and chest.
“She was on top of the world,” said a journalist friend, Mohamed, who gave only his first name because he feared he too could be killed.
Security forces have found lists of journalists targeted for assassination during raids on militant hide-outs in Mosul, and many journalists have stopped reporting in the streets or attending news conferences. Like other reporters in Mosul, Mohamed fled to the relative safety of the nearby autonomous Kurdish region. Even there, though, in the city of Sulaimaniya, a reporter was recently killed outside his home, in front of his mother.
Mohamed said he had warned Ms. Nuaimi not to go out alone.
“She told me she is not doing anything wrong, why would anyone think of killing me?” he recalled in a recent telephone interview.        

All Iraq News reports an attack on "the building of Salah-il-Din Satellite Channel and the office of the Iraqiya Satellite Channel in central Tikrit."  Ammar al-Ani (Alsumaria) reports militants stormed the station following a bombing (bombing in downtown Tikrit).  Xinhua explains, "The attack took place in the afternoon when gunmen broke into the building in central Tikrit, some 170 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, after a huge explosion at the entrance of the building, the source said on condition of anonymity."
NINA notes the Ministry of the Interior killed 4 suicide bombers.  All Iraq News notes 5 suicide bombers are dead (from detonating their own bombings), 4 guards of the building are dead and nine more injured, 9 assailants were shot dead by the security forces and 13 police officers were killed.  AFP adds 5 journalists were killed: "the chief news editor, a copy editor, a producer, a presenter and the archives manager" with five more left injured.  Of the five dead journalists, Al Jazeera notes the five were "four men and a woman."

The Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following:

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today's attack on Salah al-Din TV station headquarters in Tikrit, Iraq, which left several journalists dead. The attack comes amid a wave of targeted killings of journalists in the past few months that has made the country among the deadliest in the world for journalists. 
"This vicious attack on a TV station plunges the Iraqi media back into the darkest days of the war which has already claimed the lives of more than 150 journalists," said CPJ's deputy director, Robert Mahoney. "Iraq has a pitiful record of prosecuting the killers of journalists. If the government fails to bring all those responsible for this latest outrage to justice, gunmen will again conclude they can kill journalists with impunity."
It is not clear how many journalists were killed in the attack. Iraqi police told Al-Jazeera that at least five staff members--the station's chief news editor, a copy editor, a producer, a presenter, and the archives manager--were killed by gunfire or explosives.  The Associated Press reported that six channel staff members were killed but did not specify their identities. The motive for the attack was also not clear. Earlier this year, the Iraqi government suspended the licenses of 10 stations, including Salah al-Din, accusing the channels of sectarian incitement for their coverage of Sunni protests in Hawija outside of Kirkuk.

Mohammed Tawfeeq and Joe Sterling (CNN) remind:

Journalists haven't been immune from the terror. Before the latest violence, Irina Bokova, director-general of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, denounced the killings of eight journalists in Iraq this year.
"Violence against media workers undermines the ability of journalists to carry out their work freely as well as the right of citizens to receive the independent information they need," Bokova said.

Kirkuk Now points out, "The attacks on the two media outlets came following the assassination of a female journalist in Mousl and another one in Kalar distrcit of Sulaymaniah province."  The woman the outlet's referring to is Nawras al-Nuaimi.  while the man is Kawa Garmianai.  As Kirkuk Now noted, he died December 5th, shot in front of his own home and died en route to the hospital.  He was "the editor-in-chief of Rayal Magazine, an independent monthly magazine."  On the 19th of this month, in a bombing in Baghdad's Dora district, journalist Muhanad Mohammed and his son were killed.  Friday, the International Federation of Journalists issued the following staement:
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its deep sadness following the death of Iraqi journalist Muhanad Mohammed in Iraq yesterday, Thursday, 19 December.
According to media reports, Iraqi journalist Muhanad Mohammed, who worked for Sumariya TV, and his son were killed in an explosion in front of their house in the Dura area of south Baghdad yesterday, Thursday 19 December. Twenty people were killed and 40 others were injured in the explosion which is believed to have been targeting pilgrims on their way to the holy city of Karbala.
"We express our deepest condolences to the family of the respected journalist Muhanad Mohammed and we send our sympathies and solidarity to his colleagues," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.
Amid the escalating violence in Iraq, the IFJ is appealing to the Iraqi government to introduce genuine measures that will bring an end to the killing of innocent journalists and ensure that those who carry out acts of violence against the media face the full weight of justice. Six journalists have been murdered in the country in the last three months.
In October, the IFJ launched its End Impunity campaign which is calling on the governments of Iraq, Pakistan and Russia to investigate killings of journalists and bring their perpetrators to justice.
"Our message is clear: the slaughter of journalists in Iraq must end now," continued Boumelha. "Such blatant and utterly appalling disregard for the lives of journalists quite simply cannot be tolerated.
"We reiterate our call for the Iraqi government to set up a special task force to that has the resources to carry out thorough and independent investigations into the murder of journalists in the country. Impunity must end and those responsible must answer for their crimes."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries
Among other outlets, Muhanad Mohammed worked for Reuters.  Reuters correspondent Serena Chaudhry has Tweeted about his passing.
  • The world lost a lovely soul today. My friend & former colleague, Muhanad Mohammed, was killed in a suicide bombing in . Devastated.

  • On Thursday, my ex- colleague Muhanad Mohammed was killed in a suicide bombing in . Help his family:
  • Reuters' Alastair Macdonald Tweeted:
  • Please think of the family of Muhaned Mohammed, a friend and former colleague, killed by a bomb in Baghdad:
  • And we noted it Friday, but Ammar Karim (AFP) remembered Muhanad Mohammed here.
    There was more violence today in Iraq. 

    National Iraqi News Agency reports an armed attack in Dora left 4 people dead, Baghdad shootings left 6 people dead and three more injured, an Abu Ghraib mortar attack left 5 members of the military dead, a Zaidan rocket attack left 2 members of the Iraqi military dead and a third injured, a Karbala shooting left 1 person dead and four more injured, and an armed attack on a Mosul checkpoint left 2 rebels dead.  All Iraq News adds that 4 Salah-il-Dun University students were shot dead in Tikrit.

    And there will be more violence.  Not just because that is the pattern but also because Nouri wants another massacre and whores are doing their best to help him.

    Friday, the ongoing protests in Iraq hit the one-year mark.  Nouri's preparing to attack the protesters.  W.G. Dunlop (AFP) reported  yesterday that Nouri has declared the sit-in in Ramadi is a 'terrorist' cell:

    The protest site is located in the Anbar city of Ramadi, but is nowhere near where the clashes took place.
    "I say clearly and honestly that the sit-in site in Anbar has turned into a headquarters for the leadership of Al-Qaeda," Maliki, a Shiite, said in remarks broadcast Sunday on Iraqiya state TV.

    Nouri was testing the waters and the White House didn't do a damn thing to send a message of "NO!"  So the attack will take place.  The latest in a series of attacks on the protesters.   January 7th, Nouri's forces assaulted four protesters in Mosul,  January 24th,  Nouri's forces sent two protesters (and one reporter) to the hospital,  and March 8th, Nouri's force fired on protesters in Mosul killing three.  And then came the April 23rd massacre of a peaceful sit-in in Hawija which resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll rose to 53 dead.  UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).

    Nouri can't get away with murder unless he has his whores.  Like Hamo.

    To all those criticising Maliki, these are some of the "protesters" at the camp in Anbar !!!

    Oh, that's so cute Hamo.  It wasn't really Ramadi, it was the highway between Baghdad and Anbar Province.  And it's not a picture of a sit-in.  It's not even a picture from this month.  Or last month.  Or the month before that or . . .

    Poor stupid Hamo.

    He really thought he could trick the world.  The photos are from March.  The gunmen, not identified as al Qadea or terrorists were there to protect people from Nouri's forces.

    Poor stupid Hamo.  He almost got away with it, didn't he?

    He didn't realize that a lot of browsers -- such as Chrome -- have an image search function.

    Alsumaria noted the Chair of Anbar's Provincial Council has pointed the Iraqi military needs to be focused on securing the borders -- especially with the unrest in Syria -- and not be involved in 'securing' sit-ins.  Kitabat quotes Sheikh Daggar stating that the Iraqi people have carried out peaceful protests for a year now and will not be deterred by Nouri's threats to storm the sit-ins.  Should Nouri attempt this, the Sheikh states, it will only make the Iraqi people more determined and more persistent.

    Here's video of the bombing campaign Nouri launched on Anbar today.

    Kitabat reports that the operations began early Monday morning (before sunrise) and that Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi has called for calm and for Nouri to meet with leaders to discuss how to resolved the crisis. Iraqi Spring MC reports Baiji is under curfew and that helicopters fly overhead as the military goes after the protesters. National Iraqi News Agency reports cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr, like Osama al-Nujaifi, is calling for dialogue:

    On the steps of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against Western demonstrations , Sadr said , " We have heard threats against demonstrations from Maliki ." and I say " this should not be a prelude to a sectarian settling of accounts with the Sunnis , but it must be directed to terrorism only , and this should not be a reason to delay the upcoming legislative elections."
    He added , " I call to refer such matters to the parliament for a vote, before an individual decision, the all may regret it, and partners (if there are any) should be consulted on it."

    People are dying but it's fun games to little prick bitch bois like Joel Wing and Kirky Sewer Sowell.  Remember this exchange any time you ever make the mistake Joel Wing knows what he's talking about or that he's even remotely interested in peace.  He's the dirty whore he always was.

    1. We'll see. They can't just play defense. Question is about the precision of the intelligence and effectiveness of implementation.
    2. ISF has been conducting ops in Anbar desert/border for last 6 months w/no effect
    3. But if all they do is play defense, they'll never win. No alternative but offense as well as better defense.
    4. If both are conventional which is what ISF doing will fail Refuse to do counterinsurgency b/c dont want to work with Sunnis
    5. I agree with that. But COIN is not inconsistent with offensive ops. Both essential.

  • Innocents are being slaughtered.

    We called out Hawija in real time, unlike the bitch that is Joel Wing.  In fact, we called it out before it happened, we called it out when Nouri's forces were surrounding the protesters and refusing to let them leave or to let Members of Parliament enter.

    But there's no concern for humanity from Joel Dirt Bag Wing.  He's just concerned this might be whack-a-mole -- how very John McCain of him.  And Joel frets that it might not be good counterinsurgency.

    Joel's not independent, he's not a voice of peace, he's not a voice for the Iraqi people.  He's a little whore for war and he'll die still being a little whore for war.  People are dying and it's a game to Joel Wing.  He wants to offer play-by-play.  These people are disgusting.

    Nouri has repeatedly called the protesters "terrorist."  He did in 2011.  In fact, we were just noting that on Friday.  In fact, in March of 2011, the New York Times' editorial board's "Mr. Maliki's Power Grab"  was noting that practice:

    Instead of taking responsibility, Mr. Maliki charged that the protests were organized by "terrorists." He ordered the closing of the offices of two political parties that helped lead the demonstrations. 

    He has slaughtered innocents in Hawija including 8 children but to Joel Wing's it's all a video game, it's all fun-fun-fun.

    What's going on is bloody.   And don't expect the whores like Joel Wing to note the bloodshed.  He never could with Hawija.  People die because of Nouri al-Maliki.

    That a man who ordered a slaughter in April would even be taken seriously in claiming another group of protesters were 'terrorists' goes to just how whorish so many people are.

    We'll note Iraqi widows tomorrow and probably WG Dunlop's NPR chatter.

    1 comment:

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